Organizations must meet the following criteria to be considered eligible for a hand-carry donation:
- Host facility: The health facility(s) and health providers must be officially qualified as approved providers of healthcare services by appropriate national authorities.
- Proof of invitation: The applicant must provide a letter of invitation from a credible medical organization in the country of service.
- Medical services: Healthcare services must be provided to patients free of charge, for a voluntary fee, or based on a patient's ability to pay. Services must be provided strictly based on need and without regard to race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, or political affiliation. In no case will services be withheld from patients because of their inability to pay.
- Medical license: A licensed physician must be traveling on the trip and receive the donated prescription drugs or prescription medical supplies at the address listed on their medical license.
- Destination: The healthcare practitioner(s) providing services must dispense donated products only to patients outside the United States.
- Application timeline: Applications for hand-carry donations must be complete at least six (6) weeks before the trip date of departure.
What Direct Relief Looks For
- Sustainability & continuity of programs: Long-term commitment to a community or healthcare provider demonstrated by investment, training and education programs for local staff, capacity-building and continuity of programming.
- Respect for governance, legal and ethical standards: Medical teams must abide by all applicable federal and local regulations in dispensing medical products and providing medical services.
- Appropriate recruitment, preparation and supervision of volunteers: Prepare trip volunteers with cultural competency and language training. Adequate oversite of volunteers throughout the trip and participation limits set by volunteer's level of professional training. High ratio of medical personnel to non-medical volunteers traveling on the trip.
- Partnership: A long-term and strong relationship between the organization undertaking the trip and the health facility hosting the volunteers during the trip. In-country hosts should define the program, identify needs to be addressed and determine the role of the host community in directing the volunteer team.
- Regular evaluation of program impact on host community: The focus and objectives of future trips are continuously revised based on data and analysis of past trips.